Willie Nelson Quits Smoking Marijuana. What’s Happening in the World?

Published on December 10, 2019

Willie Nelson has bid sweet farewell to his Mary Jane. But will she ever be the same without him?

The zen country music legend’s name has been synonymous with weed for God knows how many years. Nelson, 86, who was once busted for marijuana possession, has been one of cannabis’ greatest spokesman. He removed some of the stigma surrounding the drug and spread rays of positivity around the world with his happy-go-lucky, wiseman stoner personality. All good things come to an end, though, and it’s unfortunate to say, but Nelson is no longer enjoying bud for health reasons. 

Nelson is Moving On

Nelson is now 86 years old, but he still tours across the country and plays to overjoyed crowds. His presence is one-of-a-kind.

To ensure he can still keep on keeping on, he’s giving his lungs a long-awaited rest after all the smoke he’s inhaled.

When speaking with KSAT TV, the legend admitted he decided to give up and take better care of himself: 

I have abused my lungs quite a bit in the past, so breathing is a little more difficult these days and I have to be careful. I started smoking cedar bark, went from that to cigarettes to whatever. And that almost killed me. I don’t smoke anymore—take better care of myself.”

But don’t think the country legend is stopping his all around love for cannabis.

Grit Daily spoke with Raelyn Nelson, Willie’s granddaughter and lead singer of the Raelyn Nelson Band about the recent news.

Papa Willie will never stop enjoying cannabis,” Nelson emphasized. “With edibles, drops, and vaping, there’s plenty of ways to ingest without smoking. I’d worry about him if he stopped.”

Earlier this summer, Nelson headlined at the first annual debut of Hometown Rising in Louisville, Kentucky with a sold-out crowd of 70,000 people. The Raelyn Nelson Band released its first album, “Don’t” back in November.

Image result for raelyn nelson, don't
Source: Raelyn Nelson Band
How Weed Save His Life

It must’ve been a recent decision calling it quits with pot, because back in April, Nelson admitted to Rolling Stone he still smoked like a chimney: 

I’m kind of the canary in the mine. If people are wondering what happens if you smoke that shit a long time. You know, if I start jerking or shaking or something, don’t give me no more weed. But as long as I’m all right.”

Before turning to weed around 65 years ago, Nelson was a big drinker and smoker and not exactly the loving hippie we see him as today. He was in bad shape. After turning to marijuana as his vice, the plant saved his life:

I wouldn’t be alive. It saved my life, really. I wouldn’t have lived 85 years if I’d have kept drinking and smoking like I was when I was 30, 40 years old. I think that weed kept me from wanting to kill people. And probably kept a lot of people from wanting to kill me, too — out there drunk, running around.

But It Was More than Just Smoke…It was a Business

Nelson didn’t just smoke weed, he also sold it.

Back in 2015, he started his own weed company, Willie’s Reserve, with products consumers can enjoy in Colorado, Las Vegas, Oregon, and Washington. The company, which had its products hit stores in 2016, sells the basic stoner essentials: flower, vapes, edibles, and all that jazz.


They even sell coffee, Willie’s Remedy. The company is considered a high-end cannabis brand, and one day, the company wants the reputation as the Whole Foods of cannabis.

Instead of making a strain of his own weed and slapping his name on it for profit, Nelson went the more ambitious route with Willie’s Remedy. If states keep legalizing marijuana for public consumption, expect to see more from the company. 

Willie Nelson: The Musician 

At the end of the day, it’s the music, not pot, that defines the great Willie Nelson, who’s also written many enlightened books. If a reader ever wants to take a step into his peaceful world and experience an explosive smidge of his positivity, then read “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road.”

Weed may have made Nelson a happier and shinier man, but at least it’ll give his lungs the break they need as he tours now and in the future. 

Urgent Update

In a swift statement to Vice, Willie Nelson’s representatives have let the world known, “Willie has not quit cannabis.” And based off what Raelyn just shared with us, we definitely second that statement.

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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